The High Performance Journal

7 Ways I Hack My Body Into Better Performance

Jun 27, 2023

The High Performance Journal​ - June 27th 2023

Back in 2010, I was at a conference called Mastermind Talks run by my friend Jayson Gaignard.

At the conference, I sat beside one of the most prominent biohackers in the world. I won't name names but when you think of biohacking he's one of the guys you think of.

When the conference was over they held an afterparty and at the bar the biohacker was plugging a device on his arm while claiming that each electrical pulse was like doing 1000 bicep curls.

I couldn't help but be skeptical and rightfully so. My personal opinion on biohacking is that most of it is overhyped BS but some of it actually works.

Biohacking is a term used to describe do-it-yourself biology. It involves people doing things to their bodies in order to optimize their health and well-being.

The vast majority of "biohacks" are a crock of you-know-what. But like many things, if you throw a bunch of mud up at the wall some of it is bound to stick.

There are a few things biohackers got right and in this newsletter, I want to share with you the top 7 biohacks to supercharge your performance. I use all of these in one way or another to help me optimize my body.

Note: Please consult with a healthcare practitioner before trying any of these.

Biohack #1 - Hot And Cold Exposure

Contrast therapy is when you cycle your body through hot and cold temperatures. An example would be doing the sauna followed by a cold plunge or a jacuzzi followed by a cold shower.

The benefits are a reduction of fatigue, decreased muscle soreness, removal of excess lactic acid, improved HRV, decreased resting heart rate, and improved sleep.

The key to contrast therapy is the changes produced by your circulatory system when you go from warm to cold.

When you rapidly alternate between hot water and cold water immersions, your blood vessels open and close in a pulsing, pump-like motion. Some people think this serves as a forcing function for your immune system to adapt and become stronger.

Biohack #2 - Grounding

Grounding aka. Earthing is a therapy that involves doing activities that “ground” or reconnect you to the earth. An example of this would be walking on grass barefoot, lying on the grass, swimming in an ocean, or using a grounding mat.

The benefits of grounding are improved mental wellbeing, reduction of chronic fatigue + chronic pain, and improvement of sleep.

The theory is that grounding affects the living matrix, which is the central connector between living cells.

Electrical conductivity exists within our bodies and functions as an immune system defense, similar to antioxidants. They believe that the natural defenses of the body can be restored through grounding.

Biohack #3 - Bluelight Blockers

Bluelight blockers are orange-tinted glasses you wear to block the blue light coming from screens. When you look at a screen it emits a blue light that sends a signal to your circadian rhythms to stay awake.

The benefits of wearing blue light blockers are improved sleep, decreased eyestrain, and fatigue, and decreased dry eye.

I've been wearing blue light blockers for the past 5 years and I can attest that they are needed especially if you look at screens at night.

The brand I've been using for the past few years is called Swannies.

Biohack #4 - Red light therapy

Red light therapy uses red low-level wavelengths of light on your body. There are a number of devices you would use to shine a light on your body for an extended period of time.

There is limited evidence but the listed benefits are the treatment of depression + seasonal affective disorder, boosting of the immune system, treating chronic pain, and curing acne.

Red light therapy supposedly works by strengthening the mitochondria, which generate energy in the cells. It may be a promising treatment for certain skin conditions, but more research is needed.

Biohack #5 - Sun Exposure For Improved Eyesight

Being outside for 2 hours in the sun has been shown to improve eyesight.

There is emerging research that children and adults who spend 2 hours a day outdoors in the sun have a much lower incidence of myopia than those who do not do that.

If people view things up close for too many hours a day the eyeball lengthens. When this happens the lens of the eye can no longer focus the visual image onto the retina. This causes nearsightedness and causes a decrease in our ability to see at a distance.

Being outside reading or doing what is called sun gazing (sun exposure in the off-peak hours ie. sunrise & sunset) may help to reverse myopia and improve eyesight.

Biohack #6 - Breathwork

Breathwork or Pranayama are breathing exercises you do to control your nervous system. An example would be box breathing to calm yourself down.

Depending on the technique the benefits include reduction of stress + anxiety, increased energy, relaxation, and overall well-being.

I did an entire thread on breathwork that you can access here.

Biohack #7 - Mouth Taping

Mouth taping is a process where you tape your mouth for sleep or while doing work. The tape forces one to close their mouth to relegate their breathing to their nose.

The benefits of mouth taping include improvements in sleep quality & reduction of sleep apnea. 

I use mouth tape for sleep and have used it when I'm doing focused work as I find it forces me to breathe through my nose, which helps with concentration.

One thing I'll mention about this one is that the studies are still early. I posted a query to my Twitter audience and was surprised to find most people on that thread have seen positive benefits with mouth taping.

I've tried every mouth tape brand on the planet. The Better Sleep brand is by far the best one.

Congrats, you've just reached a new level of performance.

Most biohacks suck. These don't.

I'm always looking for an edge that will help me improve my body and my mind. These have helped me & others immensely.

As always, you don't want to rely on hacks. Put most of your focus on getting your main pillars taken care of (sleep, exercise, nutrition & movement).

Otherwise, there are ways to hack your body to better performance and you now have 7 of them in your toolbox.

- Dan

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